A-Train, or A-Ressha de Ikou 3 ("Let's Take the A-Train 3"), is the third game in Artdink's simulation series that tasks players with creating their own railroad conglomerate. Players can also use their railroads to build settlements by shipping in building materials in lieu of passengers, taking a hit in short-term profits for long-term gain as more passengers flock to the player's train service to access the budding settlement in question.
A-Ressha de Ikou 3 was first developed in Japan for their native NEC PC-9801, FM Towns Marty, Sharp X68000, and PC Engine CD platforms in 1990 and 1991. The game would also see a version for the Super Famicom in 1995 dubbed "Super Version" and the computer version of the game would also be adapted for Windows 95 and 98 systems in 2000.
Motivated by its tremendous sales in its home country, US developer Maxis and European publisher Ocean Software would bring a localized version of the game - named simply A-Train - to PC MS-DOS, Amiga and Mac systems in their respective regions in 1992. It was not the first A-Train game to see a release outside of Japan - A-Ressha de Ikou 2 was released in the US as Railroad Empire for PC - but it remains the most recognizable game in the series for international audiences. Maxis would then borrow the game's distinctive isometric city view for their subsequent project SimCity 2000.
A-Train Construction Set, or A-III Map Construction in Japan, was an official expansion that allowed players to configure their saved maps or create new ones from scratch. It also included six sample maps. It was included in a package compilation for some European releases.
The goal of the game is to build a railroad company and make as much money as possible. To do this, the player can either choose to ferry passengers around for a lot of cash, or they can choose to ship building materials instead which can be used to build structures on the map to entice more passengers to use the trains to get there. These include houses and restaurants to larger projects like holiday resorts. The player can let the computer decide what to build with the resources available, or they can start a construction project for a building of their choice and the materials will automatically be allocated to the project.